The Fourth Trimester

3.5.07: Rounding the three-month mark


I feel like a fog is lifting. Like we've made it through a long, cold winter and have woken up to find the birds suddenly chirping outside our windows. Like we've crossed some sort of invisible finish line in a three-legged race that we maybe ran in a potato sack with one hand tied behind our backs.

The "fourth trimester" is officially over. Gone are the every-two-hour feedings. Gone are the raging hormones and the crying jags (mine, not Charlie's). Gone is the Chinese nipple torture. Miracles are happening here on a daily basis. There has been at least one night when Charlie slept eight hours in a row. There was a week when Julia went sans diapers. And there are at least two pairs of my pre-pregnancy pants that are buttoning up. Granted, this requires holding my breath, sucking in my stomach, and summoning every last ounce of strength in order to get the button anywhere near the vicinity of the buttonhole, but they are buttoning nonetheless. Once I'm all buttoned, I have to walk around with this stiff, mummy-like stride, as the huge, stretch-marked, blindingly white spare tire that is my stomach oozes out over the tourniquet of my waistband. But man, do I feel s-m-o-k-i-n' hot.

Now that those first three months are safely behind usÂ…can I just say that they do not bode well for the survival of the human race? It seems sort of evolutionarily unsound that you should be given this tiny, helpless creature who is completely and utterly dependent on you for its very survival, and that you should then be so utterly fatigued and brain-dead yourself that you might perhaps, say, walk around the house muttering under your breath as you look for the cordless phone, because you simply have to call your mother, only to realize ten minutes later that you have in fact been speaking to your mother on that very phone the entire time (hypothetically speaking). When I mentioned my evolutionary theory to our friend Lisa, she pointed out that the human race has actually been on this planet a relatively short time, so the jury may in fact still be out.

In any case, we survived. And what's more, with baby boot camp in our rear view mirror, things are starting to get a lot more fun. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Charlie is apparently under the impression that I am really fun. When I peer into his crib in the morning, he literally shakes with joy and does what I like to call the "full-body smile." It's like he's entered some sort of baby limbo contest and he's shimmying his way under the pole, arms outstretched and as low as he can go, with this goofy, gummy grin on his face and his toes kicking in the air.

Charlie is turning into Mr. Personality. When I sing I Feel the Earth Move, he is Carole King, gurgling right along, looking at me that way. Then, he'll try to roll, lifting his legs and heaving himself to the side before wobbling back onto his back. He's also discovering his hands. I'll find him lying in his crib studying them with this extremely puzzled, yet amazed, look on his face, as if Ed McMahon just showed up on his doorstep with a giant check and he's still trying to absorb the news.

He also likes to hold hands. So, there's that.

I do miss our little newborn Charlie. But, would I go back and do those first three months over? Not on your life. Not if you paid me a million dollars.

Well -- maybe just one more time.

Join's Managing Editor Dana Rousmaniere each week as she chronicles life with a new baby.

Read the next entry: 3.12.07: Coffee Talk